Friday, December 23, 2022

2022 Last-Minute Online Holiday Gift Guide!


I reckon you’ve arrived here after googling “last-minute Christmas gifts free overnight shipping” or perhaps after crying out, “Oh shit, Alexa, I forgot to shop for Christmas!” (In my household we’d be saying this to our older daughter Alexa by way of apology, as opposed to addressing an Amazon Echo.) Or perhaps your shopping is done and you just want to gloat, and see what acts of desperation the less-organized are resorting to. Either way, you’ll get a candid review of various products that, if nothing else, would be more exciting than another sweater or book.

Cooling weighted blanket - $30

Wait, what? A blanket that cools you? Does it have water running through it like a radiator or something? No, it’s just full of glass beads, to make it heavy. This apparently helps a person sleep. I guess it would be less warm than 15 pounds of blankets. If the concept is good, this could be the perfect gift: that is, the thing your recipient didn’t even know exists, and which solves a problem she didn’t even know she had. The manufacturer claims it “offers a natural way to calm your body for a restful night of sleep, feels like a hug and perfect for people who are under deep pressure that need a relaxing and good sleep. It will a be a best Halloween gift for your family.” Gosh, lots to unpack here. If I understand this correctly, if you’re under deep pressure, metaphorically speaking, the solution is to put yourself under deep pressure literally? As for it being a best Halloween gift, I wasn’t even aware I was supposed to give gifts for that. Maybe the scary costumes stress people out?

So does this thing work? The ratings are generally favorable, and one five-star reviewer wrote, “The material is soft and the heat transfer is on par with some of the golf shirts I own.” I’m not sure what that even means, having never worn a golf shirt. I looked at the Q&A and one respondent wrote, “There is NO cooling aspect with this blanket. If anything it makes me hotter.” That person liked the weight, though, and took care of the heat issue with a $2200 WiFi-connected mattress cover.

Let’s not forget that “the gift of giving” shouldn’t be neglected—in other words, let’s consider what benefit might accrue to you, the giver. Well, have you ever spent $11.45 to ship a $10 mug that weighs less than a pound? So annoying. This bad boy weighs over 15 pounds and ships for free.

Y2K Chill Pillow - $27

Is this pill-shaped pillow timeless? Perhaps. On the one hand, it’s touted as a “Y2K Fashion Room Décor Aesthetic” which would make it very retro, but it’s also “As Seen on TikTok.” One thing is for sure: it’s “perfect size & shape for soft for cuddles people.”

Insofar as “cool girls will love” it, and “you can use it as a way to relax, hug it when you cool down,” I might want this thing for myself, but it’s really touted mainly as a gift, for your “girlfriend, wife, nurses, med or law student, pharmacy techs, icu, therapist, or anyone in a stressful job.” You know what I’m thinking? This would pair really well with the cooling weighted blanket!

Be aware, though, that you will be sending your recipient a message: that you can tell she is really high-strung and really needs to chill out. “Take a chill pill” is often considered kind of a put-down. So be careful or you may take this pillow to the face.

Novelty candle - $20

I’m really not sure what the point of this candle is. I mean, in my experience, guys aren’t really into fancy candles, but women aren’t really into celebrating the nexus of illicit drugs and prostitution. So whom is this really for?

Meanwhile, I have to wonder, what scent is this candle supposed to imply? Does anybody know what cocaine actually smells like? I’ve never heard this smell described or even mentioned, which is kind of funny, considering that coke is snorted up the nose. When I google “the smell of,” Autocomplete suggests rain, money, rebellion, other people’s houses, and death … but not cocaine. As for the smell of a hooker, I would rather not think about it. I suspect it’s nothing like White Sage & Lavender, or Black Currant & Jasmine.

More wholesome novelty candles - $26

Let’s face it, the Cocaine & Hookers candle is a bit racy, but that doesn’t mean candles in general aren’t a great idea. Some people just can’t wait to light a new candle and appreciate its therapeutic benefits, while others will dig it out during a power outage and say, “Thank God I actually held on to this thing!” So here are a few safer options for a nice gift candle:

The aroma of these is helpfully provided on the manufacturer’s website, and each candle has its own. This creates an opportunity for a fun game: a houseguest can say, “Mmmmmm, I’m smelling sea air, rum, and wood … what could that be? A candle celebrating Admiral Vernon ofthe Royal Navy?” The host could giggle, “No, but you’re close: it’s Alexander Hamilton, and this candle recalls his ocean voyage to NYC!” Yay!

Escape reality interactive paperweight - $100

Is it just me, or do a lot of this season’s gifts reflect the need to cool down and relax? Well, insofar as I selected them, maybe it is just me. In any case, this paperweight purports to help you “escape into a magical realm of wonder,” like a little break from reality.

Feeling calmer already, eh? Naw, I’m just messing with you. The real magic starts when you download the free companion app and point your phone at the gemstone. Suddenly, it’s a magical holographic experience:

So, perhaps you’re wondering, why not just look at other magical, mystical videos etc. right on your phone? Oh, come on, be a sport. This is interactive. At least, for you. Others seeing you pointing your phone at this inert disk may think you’ve lost it completely.

I had the antique version of this experience, back in the ‘90s, by the way … which is also available as a gift:

On one occasion back then, my wife and I had a friend over who stared at our little lamp with a dumbfounded expression, trying to understand the point. Finally she said, “Oh, I get it … it’s because you guys don’t have a TV!

Luxury grooming tool kit - $75

Women, are you tired of your man having gross nails and a poor complexion? It’s time to do something about it—but in a loving and supportive way. This grooming kit comes with 16 tools to help make that man less gross.

This thing’s got it all: two fingernail clippers (I guess one’s for backup), toenail clippers, an ear pick, a dead skin fork (yum!), an acne needle (ouch!) and, among other things, a beautiful vegan leather man-purse to keep it all in. If he gives a perfunctory thank-you and then shelves it with the fancy lotion you bought him last year, well, he’s within spec even for a modern man. But if he actually uses this stuff, marry him—quick!

Boyfriend’s Mom Necklace - $35

This lovely necklace comes with a heartfelt card dedicating the gift: “To My Boyfriend’s Mom.” So it’s not a universal gift, but if you’re trying to suck up to the woman you hope might end being your mother-in-law, this should be just the thing.

In case you can’t read the fine print there, it includes this: “Your gentle smiles is a reminder to love more deeply and your accomplishments is a motivation to chase after my own dreams. And this card inspires me to go back to school and learn some grammar.” Okay, I made up that last bit.

Now, what if you’re actually kind of tired of your boyfriend, and/or his fingernails are gross and he’s got too many blackheads? Or if you’ve only been dating for like a month? Give the gift anyway! He and his mom will be so freaked out, they’ll run for the nearest exit! Mission accomplished!

There’s one more purpose for this necklace: if you swing both ways and you’d like to get with your boyfriend’s mom. She’s probably more mature and surely has prettier nails. Give it a whirl!

Crystal ball nightlight - $21

Suppose you’re an aunt or uncle, and your poor niece or nephew has those kind of modern permissive parents who never set boundaries. It’s time to scare this kid straight, and this incarceration-themed nightlight is just the way to do it.

That is just so creepy the way this poor little rabbit is clearly trapped in this strange torture dome. Look how stressed he is. And what is that, some kind of lightning bolt stabbing him in the back? I asked my daughter and she said no, that’s Pikachu, the Pokémon character! She showed me some pictures but no way, Pikachu is always smiling! He looks joyful! This little Pikachu is miserable because he knows he’s so screwed! And look at the effect this strange nightlight has on kids:

At first blush, the little girl looks to be smiling, but check out the clenched jaw and the look in her eye: she’s about to cry. And the boy looks really tense too. This toy teaches these kids a lesson: it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in this world! This could happen to you! (My own daughter said of this nightlight, “God, that thing would give me nightmares.”)

Gucci stuffed lion - $735

Of this item in their “Gifts for Women” catalog, Gucci declares, “Green mane and tail detailing complete the style for an authentic portrayal.”

I have no words.

Gucci wristwatch - $1850

Why should women have all the fun, getting incredibly expensive gifts? Look at this fancy wristwatch:

Never before has a gift so strongly inspired the words, “You shouldn’t have.” I mean, what the hell is this thing? Is Gucci just trying to be annoying? Imagine squinting at that watch face, trying to sort out what time it is.

I have racked my brain trying to understand this watch. At least there’s no way you’d scratch it, right? Maybe this is, like, an armored watch for the man with an incredibly rough-and-tumble lifestyle, like a stuntman? But the fine print suggests otherwise: “When possible avoid any impact that might damage your watch.” So maybe there is no point to this timepiece . Or, more likely, I’m just too pedestrian and vulgar to appreciate the finer things.

Something for the blogger?

With all this talk of gifts, I’ll bet you’re already thinking about what to get me, the tireless blogger who has tried all year to amuse and enlighten you. Well, I really don’t need anything, seriously. But if you must, how about performing an interpretive dance on TikTok that will make this blog go viral? Either that, or mail me a rubber spatula. I can never have too many of those.

Other albertnet holiday posts

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